Funding Circle

Tens of thousands of small Lancashire firms can access growth funding thanks to the UK’s first Local Business Lending Partnership, set up by the county council and Funding Circle.

The revolutionary scheme delivers affordable business finance through Funding Circle, the world’s first online marketplace that enables individual investors to side-step banks and lend directly to small businesses.

The Local Business Lending Partnership means businesses receive finance in a matter of days, compared to up to three months for a traditional bank loan.

To date the partnership has seen more than £2 million lent to small Lancashire businesses. Funding Circle says there has been a 50 per cent rise in the number of Lancashire firms accessing finance through the site since the partnership was launched in November 2012.

Among them is Lancaster-based adventure sports equipment firm Ark Consultants. The family-run business borrowed £80,000 from 737 investors via the site, with the county council funding six per cent.

To find out more about accessing funds through the Business Lending Partnership call 0800 098 8841 or visit